Louisiana

Eligible for Recall: Mary Landrieu (D): elected to third term in 2008, up for reelection in 2014; David Vitter (R): elected to second term in 2010, up for reelection in 2016

Signature Requirement: Signature requirement is number equal to 331/3% of the electors of the voting area, unless fewer than 1,000 electors reside within the voting area, in which case the petition must be signed by at least 40% of those electors.

Circulation Time: 180 days

Type of Recall Election: Recall Election Then Special Election

Constitutional Provision: Article X Section 26 (Recall) (1907 but amended November 21, 1987)

The legislature shall provide by general law for the recall by election of any state, district, parochial, ward, or municipal official except judges of the courts of record."
"§1300.1. Recall authorized: Any public officer, excepting judges of the courts of record, may be recalled in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter. However, no recall petition may be submitted for certification to or accepted for certification by the registrar of voters or any other official if less than six months remain in the term of office.

Initial Procedure:

  1. Copy of recall petition is filed with Secretary of State (SOS) by chairman of recall committee.
  2. The completed petition is submitted to the Registrar(s) of Voters: Not later than 180 days after being filed with SOS.
  3. The Registrar of Voters shall certify the recall petition within 20 working days after it is presented to him if the voting area contains more than 50,000 registered voters.
  4. The petition is forwarded to the Governor if the required number of signatures are certified by the Registrar of Voters.
  5. The Governor issues an election proclamation within 15 days after he receives the certified petition from the Registrar of Voters.

    Primary Election Date: the proclamation shall be issued on or before the last day for candidates to qualify in the election (last day of qualifying).

    General Election Date: the proclamation shall be issued on or before the 46th day prior to the election (same as propositions).

  6. Immediately after the issuance of the proclamation, the Governor shall publish the proclamation in the official journal of each parish where the recall election is to be held.
  7. Within 24 hours after issuing the proclamation, the Governor shall send a copy of the petition and proclamation, by registered or certified mail, to the clerk of the district court for each parish in which the recall election will be held.
  8. A copy of the petition and proclamation also shall be sent to the Secretary of State (by the Governor).
  9. Within 24 hours after receiving the copies, the Secretary of State shall notify all other election officials in the parish(es) where the recall election is to be held.
  10. If the recall passes, the public officer is recalled and removed from office and the office is declared vacant when the election returns are certified to the Secretary of State. The vacancy is then filled as usual. The recalled official cannot be appointed to fill the vacancy.
  11. If the recall fails, no recall election for the same official shall be held within 18 months from the date of the failed recall election.

Contact Info:
Executive - Secretary of State
8585 Archives Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Secretary of State Jay Dardenne
Phone: (225) 922-2880
Fax: (225) 922-2003

Court Activity

No current cases.

News & Commentary

Columnist: Jefferson Parish Drama Underscores Need for Review of Louisiana's Recall Law | 10/28/16

The unfolding drama surrounding an effort to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni could have some lessons for the entire state--especially as the state House of Representatives prepares a thorough review of Louisiana's recall laws--says Jeremy Alford in his latest column.

Greater Baton Rouge Business Report staff -- The unfolding drama surrounding an effort to recall Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni could have some lessons for the entire state--especially as the state House of Representatives prepares a thorough review of Louisiana's recall laws--says Jeremy Alford in his latest column.

"There are eight states in the nation that have laws detailing grounds for recalling elected officials," Alford says. "For example, in Alaska, voters can only trigger a recall for four reasons, including 'lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption.' Louisiana, however, has no such legal definition."

Louisiana voters, however, can boot out a politician for practically any reason as long as they can gather the required signatures to have a recall election scheduled, Alford says, adding they often have an uphill battle to climb.

Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington is hoping to change that and make the recall election process easier for Louisiana voters, says Alford. Last year, Hollis authored a resolution asking the House and Governmental Affairs Committee to study possible changes to these laws, Alford says, noting Hollis has reviewed Louisiana recall drives dating back to 1966 and could only find three or four successful attempts.

"The bar is just set too high," Hollis tells Alford. "Of the 31 states that allow recalls, ours is the highest for getting signatures, at percent of the voters in the district needed. In California, it's just 12 percent of those who actually voted. We set the threshold for being the highest."

House and Governmental Affairs Committee is expected to meet before the end of the year to hear Hollis' findings and to offer up suggestions for the 2017 legislative session, Alford says.

Read more.

Recall Effort Begins against Louisiana Sheriff | 07/13/16

NEW IBERIA, La. -- A petition drive had begun to remove Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal from office.

Donald Broussard of New Iberia told The Daily Iberian that he filed the petition with the Louisiana's Secretary of State's office to force a recall election.

Broussard recently helped organize a rally and voter registration drive against Ackal, who is facing conspiracy and civil rights charges as part of an ongoing federal investigation of the sheriff's office.

Ackal and two other officials have pleaded not guilty in connection with the charges. They are scheduled for trial on Oct. 31.

Broussard says he is confident he will gather the more than 15,000 signatures needed to force the recall election.

Read more.

Louisiana Town Councilman Loses Recall Election | 12/09/14

GONZALES, La. - Timothy Vessel became the first Gonzales councilman to be recalled in the history of the city on Dec. 6, when 75 percent of the voters cast ballots to oust him.

Chuck LeBlanc, chairman of the recall effort Save Gonzales, tells The Advocate that after a nine-month drive, the group was elated.

Vessel faced the recall election alone after former Councilman Gary Lacombe, also targeted for recall by the grass-roots organization, avoided the election when he resigned Nov. 25.

The recall effort against the two men was launched in April in large part because of bloc voting on the council.

Read more.

Media Ignore Soros Tie-In to Walker, Jindal Recall Attempts | 09/17/14

The group that first filed an indictment charge against Texas Gov. Rick Perry was funded by George Soros, the liberal billionaire, but the trail of his money didn't end there. 

Both the recall election for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and an even less successful recall attempt for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were rooted in Soros-funded groups. Among them, these three potential Republican presidential candidates were targeted by groups receiving more than $6.3 million from Soros.

The media should be reporting on this connection, but so far they have completely ignored it. None of the broadcast news coverage of Walker's recall election or Perry's indictment on ABC, CBS or NBC has mentioned Soros. Attempts to recall Jindal weren't mentioned by the networks, although left-wing outlets like The Huffington Post tried to promote them.

Read more at Newsbusters.org.

Louisiana Legislators Pass New Recall Provision | 05/28/14

Legislation aimed at preventing a situation like the one Port Allen voters found themselves in recently when former mayor Deedy Slaughter ran for the spot from which she was recalled is headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk to become law.

The legislation, sponsored by Port Allen resident and Republican state Sen. Rick Ward, prohibits recalled elected officials from running in the special election to replace them during the same term.

The Senate gave final passage to the bill Tuesday (May 27) by a vote of 28-5 to agree to changes made to it in the House. The House approved it by a vote of 80-11, and the Senate initially approved it by a vote of 32-5.

Read more.

Louisiana Mayor's Recall Election Set for Nov. 16 | 10/01/13

PORT ALLEN -- Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive proclamation on Sept. 20 setting a special election in Port Allen on Nov. 16 to give voters the opportunity to decide whether Mayor Demeteric "Deedy" Slaughter should be removed from office less than year into her first term.

Since taking office, Slaughter has been involved in a string of controversies which include hiring a relative, increasing her salary by $20,000 and billing the city for her trip to President Obama's second inauguration.


Read more.

Reckless Congress Makes Case for Recall | 12/17/10

"If ever a Congress epitomized the need for more accountability, it's the 111th lame-duck gang. Sorry, that's unfair to gangsters. With most Americans distracted by holiday plans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has sprung another Christmas surprise, vowing to ram through a far-left agenda in the waning days of 2010. Last year, he put a giant lump of coal in Americans' stockings with Christmas Eve passage of Obamacare."

Click here for the full story from The Washington Times.

Louisiana Recall Effort Continues Despite Ruling | 02/05/10

By Robert Knight.

A campaign to recall Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is continuing in the face of a negative opinion by state election officials.

Secretary of State Jay Dardenne's press secretary, Jacques Berry, told the ACRU on Feb. 5, 2010, that a recall petition for Sen. Landrieu submitted several weeks ago, was "accepted but only for filing for the purpose of creating a public record." The office does not consider the petition valid and so did not notify the state's 64 parishes, Berry said.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell had issued an opinion in March 2009 on a February 2009 petition to recall Rep. Joseph Cao (R). In that instance, Caldwell ruled that Louisiana's Constitution does not permit recall of federal officials. So the Secretary of State applied that opinion to the current effort aimed at Sen. Mary Landrieu. Berry said that to his knowledge, there has been no court test of that opinion or the question generally of recalling federal officials in Louisiana.

Nonetheless, Tea Party members led by Ruben T. LeBlanc are continuing to circulate petitions. They have 180 days to collect more than 900,000. Mr. Berry said that if they succeed, they could at that point file a lawsuit challenging the Secretary of State's ruling on the validity of the petition.

The Right to Recall the Rascals | 02/02/10

By John Armor. This column originally appeared on Townhall.com on February 2, 2010.

Do the citizens of the states have a constitutional right to recall their Members of Congress before the end of their set terms, if they become satisfied that their Members are seriously harming the interests of the people who elected them?

The U.S. Constitution states no right to recall federal officials. But that's not the end of the inquiry, only the beginning.

There are two main reasons why the right of recall can be established for all elected officials, including Members of Congress. One is that the Constitution delegates general election law to the states. The other is that the 10th Amendment reserves to the states and the people all rights not delegated to the national government.

Continue reading “The Right to Recall the Rascals”.

Menendez Not the Only US Senator Facing Recall | 02/01/10

"Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) responded today to the appeal by the citizens' committee seeking to recall him, apparently insisting that he is a federal official and thus not subject to the New Jersey constitution's recall provision, according to a source close to the case. 'So here is a powerful New Jersey resident arguing that his home state's Constitution, passed overwhelmingly by the people of New Jersey, that he claims to represent, is invalid and you can't recall him from office,' the outraged source told this Examiner. But in fact Menendez is not the only United States Senator to be the target of a recall committee. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is another."

Click here for the full story from Examiner.com.

The Right of Recall | 01/25/10

By Peter Ferrara. This article originally appeared on Fox Forum on January 25, 2010.

Congress is out of control. The public overwhelmingly opposes the pending legislation for a government takeover of health care. But Congressional leaders are telling us they don't care. They know best, and they're going to pass it anyway.

We see the same attitude on other issues, from global warming regulation, to taxes, government spending, deficits, federal debt, energy policy, welfare, corporate bailouts, and beyond. Too many of our Congressional "representatives" seem unwilling to listen to the views of their constituents, insisting that they already know it all. They respond to dissenters with name-calling, labeling them yahoos, Nazis, and tea baggers.

Continue reading “The Right of Recall”.

Each state has its own requirements as to the manner in which petitions must be collected, signed and filed. It is imperative that official recall committees are legally formed in each state according to the state laws and regulations. The handling of the petitions must comply with the laws and regulations of each state.